Wojtek the Bear

Polish War Hero

Neal Ascherson, Aileen Orr

New, updated edition in advance of the unveiling of a statue of Wojtek next to the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, in May 2014. Journalist and historian Neal Ascherson reflects on the Polish experience in the Second World War. Wojtek has memorials at the Imperial War Museum, London, Edinburgh Zoo and in Canada, and he is a national hero in Poland
Date Published :
August 2014
Publisher :
Birlinn
Illustration :
8pp b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781843410652
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 7.7 X 5.1 inches
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In stock
$12.95

Overview
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This is the inspiring and charming true story of one of the Second World War's most unusual combatants - a 500-pound cigarettesmoking, beer-drinking brown bear. Originally adopted as a mascot by the Polish Army in Iran, Wojtek soon took on a more practical role, carrying heavy mortar rounds for the troops and going on to play his part as a fully enlisted 'soldier' with his own rank and number during the Italian campaign. After the war, Wojtek, along with some of his Polish compatriots from II Corps, came to Berwickshire, where he became a significant member of the local community before subsequently moving to Edinburgh Zoo. Wojtek's retirement was far from quiet: a potent symbol of freedom and solidarity for Poles around the world, he attracted a huge amount of media interest that shows no sign of abating almost 50 years after his death.

About The Author
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Aileen Orr was born in Dumfries and raised in Lockerbie before going on to study at the London School of Economics. After a few years in banking, she married and became a Regional Director of the SCA. She stood for both the Westminster and Scottish parliaments and currently enjoys working with parliamentarians on a variety of issues and all things Polish. Neal Ascherson was born in Edinburgh and studied at Cambridge University. A journalist for many years, he has also written numerous books and is well known as an authority on Polish and East European affairs.

REVIEWS
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hilarious and moving

- Scotsman

It is both moving and amusing

- Lord David Steel

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